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Fabulous food on banana leaves

Cooked by Mangalorean chefs, Naivedyam restaurant in Delhi serves an array of mouth-watering dosas. With impeccable service, fast delivery and pocket-friendly menu, the outlet is worth a try, suggests MADHUR TANKHA... .

MANY AN ardent dosa-lover may nod in agreement if you say, a dosa a day keeps a doctor at bay. But, if one has a different kind of dosa every day for two weeks together at restaurant Naivedyam in New Delhi , there is every likelihood that one may rethink.

Nevertheless, the experience of trying out the varieties by different chefs specialising in different types of this traditional Southern dish served on fresh banana leaves overlooking tall coconut trees in the middle of the city can be an enjoyable venture. The assortment forming part of the restaurant's menu card is indeed a length - potato masala, vegetable masala, paneer masala, butter masala, palak masala, palak paneer dosai, butter palak paneer, rava masala, butter rava masala, mysore rava masala, coconut rava and onion rava.

The restaurant owner Shekhar Bangera says, the chefs, who prepare these sumptuous, mouth-watering dosas, have all come from the coastal town of Mangalore.

As an appetiser, a guest is offered a glass of complementary buttermilk with leaves of kari patta conjuring that typical flavour. The sour-sweet taste of the digestive is a pure delight.

One tries Rava masala dosa. Although it is savoured till the last bite, the dosa, full of cashew nuts and raisins, makes one feel very heavy. One may not be in a position to try out something else like the restaurant's thali, where you get good helpings of typical Mangalorean assorted dishes.

A chat with Bangera reveals that he doesn't believe in changing with the times. At a time when his competitors are going in for costly interiors and change in menu by including non-vegetarian items on their menu cards, he has no such plans. Says Bangela, "I don't want to compromise with the kind of stuff you get to eat in Mangalore. I don't want to depart from tradition. Though we have Paneer dosa, it is because people here simply love gorging it. Also, we don't want to bring sea food as we won't be able to give our vegetarian patrons the same kind of gratification which they are currently getting now."

When asked as to why has he added a wide assortment of dosas as mostly masala or butter masala dosas are the most-sought-after, Bangera says, "This smart move has been done so that those who almost daily flock into our restaurant don't get bored eating out the same kind of dish day after day." However, the point to note in the restaurant is its quick service. No wonder one notices office goers flocking in here regularly during lunchtime.

Some of the appealing desserts served at Naivedyam are Mysore Pak made from baisan gram flour, Sweet Roll or Neer Dosa made of jaggery and coconut and Masarvadi made from curd.

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